Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shanghai Updates

I know this is kidda late, given that i'm only left with less than a week before i return back to singapore but here is an update of my life in Shanghai...

My work has been getting quite intensive, with steep learning curve. It's not so much of skills issue but rather the work processes and workflow needs some time to get used to. Have been researching on golf courses in shenzhen for their bienalle exhibition and designing a semi d house in singapore. well, it's quite an eye opener, looking at the amount of things that needs to be done, and there is in fact very little time to really design anything, most of the time, it's just preparing drawings for clients, without much design. have been leaving after midnight everyday for the past 1.5 wks. i didn't really see this working lifestyle coming, but my bosses say that they are giving me an intensive experience, in the hope that i can learn as much as possible. I guess since this is only an internship, i wouldn't mind this hectic lifestyle for a few wks but i certainly do not want such an IB working hours without an IB paycheck in future though. but maybe i'll have no choiec in future too...

apart from work, this past 3wks plus has been an eye opener for me, in terms of the society in shanghai in general. well, i can basically classify the society into 2 categories, the expats and the locals. so some extent, i do quite enjoy the life of the locals, i enjoy talking to my local colleagues and eat cheaply like a local and explore local areas... but the local environment isn't very pleasing. hearing horns going off every time the taxi crosses a junction and having them cursing at other drivers, isn't very appealing. i think the buses are worse though, the bus driver seems to be a very unhappy man, cursing and swearing without fail every morning during the rush hour. the zheng1 xian1 kong3 hou4 idiom is also best exemplified through taking their subways. not that i'm very put off with these kind of attitudes but rather, i guess its not very healthy to start a family here, given the tonnes of negative examples a kid will be exposed to. to cap things off, the summer heat and pollution is taking a toll on me but thanks to the downpour during the week, the hazy skies have cleared off and it seems cleaner now, but i guess the haze will be back again. apprarently i heard that pollution in shanghai isn't as bad as other cities.

now to the expats lifestyle. my landlord and landlady owns two apartments, beside each other, i'm living with the landlord, while another fellow singaporean law intern lives with the landlady (my landlord's gf). well, they are kindda living an expat lifestyle (okie there is no specific definition of an expat lifestyle but i will try to define it) it surrounds entertaining people, partying most of your week away. going for organised pool parties where their real intentions (sex) are expressed on their faces and actions. they would have house parties too, talk about orgies (i have not witnessed any, but i wouldn't really be surprised given that they showed me 'evidences of love making' on the sofa. kind of put off, but to make things worse, it's not very nice to see people making out on the sofa too and seeing them walking about in their semi lingeries. most of the time, my neighbour intern would come over to my place to watch dvd instead, while our landlord and landlady hanky panky. oh well, i would hope to believe that this is an exceptional example that i've came across. oh well, i've come to a conclusion that being an expat, you gotta have a family and kids, if you're single, leading the high life, you may possibly end up partying all the time, given the fact that you do not have any committments in a foreign land.

all in all, shanghai is definitely a nice city to tour and live in, you'll get a varied shopping experience, delicious food, chic trendy gentrified areas. however, to settle down here for long, i would think otherwise.